Buying a second-hand recreational craft

Are you about to buy a second-hand recreational craft? Here you will find some good advice about what to be aware of.

Remember to ask for the right documentation

Before signing an agreement, you should see a so-called declaration of conformity. The declaration of conformity is proof that the craft is CE-marked. Furthermore, you must ensure that the craft's frame number and identification number are the same as those given in the declaration of conformity. However, it is important to remember that a declaration of conformity is needed only if the craft is required to be CE-marked.

Example of declaration of conformity

Know your rights

If you buy a second-hand craft, you will normally buy it as inspected. Therefore, it is important that you make sure that everything is in order and that all equipment is listed in the bill of sale before you sign. When buying a new boat, the sale of goods act applies. This means that there is a two-year warranty on both the craft and the accompanying equipment.

Bill of sale and sales agreement

Before you sign a bill of sale, you should examine whether a mortgage is registered in the recreational craft. If the craft has a gross tonnage below 20, you should contact the person registry to see if the current owner has put the vessel up as security for a loan or other. If the craft has a gross tonnage of or above 20, you should check The Ship Registry or contact the Register of Shipping by email ( or by phone: +45 72 19 60 00.

Due to a change in legislation as of March 2018, a smaller number of recreational crafts with a gross tonnage of or above 5 and less than 20, registered before March 2018 all with mortgage or other rights registered, have remained in the Ship registry – and for such vessels you should also check the ship registry or contact The register of Shipping. So if you consider buying such a recreational vessel built before March 2018 you should always check the Ship Registery.
When you buy a new craft, a bill of sale will be drawn up that obliges the shipyard or the distributor to deliver the agreed craft with the agreed equipment at the agreed price on the agreed date. In connection with the bill of sale, you will also agree whether the buyer or the seller is to arrange for the financing and insurance as well as who is to pay for any transportation and launching as well as the amount of the down payment. The bill of sale is a binding document, and legally the deal has been made when the bill of sale has been signed.

When the craft is ready to be taken over, the sales agreement will be drawn up. Before you sign the sales agreement, you should, however, make sure that all the equipment is available because the sales agreement also functions as confirmation of receipt. The signed sales agreement releases the purchase sum or its financing and at the same time the insurance must have been arranged.

Recreational crafts are required and can only to be registered in The Danish Ship Registry if they have a gross tonnage of or above 20. Smaller recreational crafts can not be registered. 

Additional information about registration

Is your recreational craft required to be CE marked?

It is important that you make sure that your craft is CE-marked. The CE mark is your security that the craft meets EU standards. Without the mark, you may run into insurance problems in case of an accident just as it can be difficult to sell the craft again.

Read about CE marking.

Have you considered having a radio on board?

Your safety at sea may depend on whether you are able to communicate with the surrounding world. 

Read more about radios in recreational craft.

Training programme for yachtsmen

Depending on the type of recreational craft that you have bought, you are perhaps required to complete a training programme for yachtsmen. 

You can read more about the training programmes.